Showing posts from June, 2010

Rodents Digging

We're having all sorts of interesting home-related things right now, it seems. A couple weeks ago Jo told me to "come here" while she was in the other room in the basement. It was one of those "come here now" kind of inflections, so I complied immediately. I went over and saw a nice fresh hole in one of our window wells. The wells are 5 feet deep or so, so this was surprise. We definitely had an uninvited guest who was a digger. We stood there long enough to even have a welcome-to-the Kline-zoo experience through the glass by watching Mr Digger come up to dump some of this dirt. I think he even smiled at me faintly. My enemy was visible. Jo looked it up online and found that it was most likely a mole (did I get that right?) We went over to Home Depot and observed a plethora of rodent-killing options (who would have known?) I settled on the pyrotechnic approach and bought gopher-bombs. After all, fire is the answer to many of life's toughest proble

Roof Leaks and Karma

And now from our sponsor, a lesson in karma. A couple weekends ago, I found out at church that we were being asked to go up to the girls' youth camp in Wyoming and cut and move timber affected by the beetle kill. It takes nearly 2 hours to get up there. I have to admit I wasn't happy about losing my whole Saturday for the service activity, but I was planning on going. As the weekend drew near, the weather got very sour, and so did my attitude. I murmured. By Friday night, it was pouring in Colorado-Spring style. A short detour: Amy is definitely her father's child. When I ask her to do something, she often comes up with ways to flat out tell me no, or to--in my words--dilly dally her way around to get her way. This has been status quo for some time. Routinely I will send her to bed only to have her still milling around 30 minutes later doing some terribly important task. As a dad, that gives me material to launch into her. End detour. That Friday night at about 1

Tech Note: Verizon MiFi

I recently switched my broadband data service to Verizon and go a MiFi 2200 . This is quite a neat little device. Instead of just giving your Internet from anywhere on your computer, it also acts as a WiFi hotspot and allows you to connect up to 5 other devices wirelessly, with no config. So for me, that means that iPad, iPod Touch, etc can all be connected to the Internet without having to pay for data service for each device. The device is about the size of a deck of cards (sans card box), and runs for about 4 hours per charge. When you have it plugged into your PC, it acts like a normal USB-style data card and tethers for Internet access to your PC only. When you unplug it, the wireless access point lights up and you can connect yourself and 4 friends. The wireless mode has lots of settings that allow you to be secure, etc. Here's the interesting side note (honestly, only if you're me, but I needed a place to write this down). You can only charge this thing via the s

Converting Movies for iPod

{This post was updated in May 2011 with things I've learned over the last year.} Our family recently joined the Apple revolution (a few years late, we know). Jolayne got an iPod Touch (basically an iPhone without the phone part). I got a nano and iPhone, and there's an iPad in transit somewhere for me. With all this iHappiness, I knew we'd need to find a way to watch movies on these intrepid little devices. I managed to get it done just in time before our Disney trip a few weeks ago. Let me say, having movies on the iDevices sure makes long flights more fun. The amazing thing to me is that because of the hardware decoders built into the devices, it takes very little battery to watch a movie. A full-length movie watch on my iPhone takes less than 15% of the battery. Not bad at all. Once you've converted them, the movies can also be streamed via AppleTV (or equivalent) and watched on your main TV as well, so it's a great single format to do everything in. Afte